Can Dogs get Cancer from Lawn Fertiliser?
Recent studies have found a link between some cancers in dogs and chemicals in lawn fertiliser. Chemicals such as 2,4-D from the fertilisers have been found in urine of dogs, with the chemical able to travel to neighbouring gardens. This increase in exposure has been found to have a direct link to an increase risk of bladder cancer in dogs. In more recent studies its been found that professionally applied pesticides on lawn links to a 70% higher risk of cancer. These chemicals have been found in pesticides normally used to kill clovers and dandelions.
Unfortunately, these chemicals can be both digested and absorbed so its hard to control whether or not your dog gains these chemicals. The main cancers caused by these chemicals are Canine and Bladder-related, making it important to keep an eye on dogs.
Which breeds are more at risk?
Dogs such as sheepdogs, beagles, and scottish terriers are more likely to get bladder cancer once exposed to 2,4-D. However, this doesn’t limit these cancers to these breeds, they’re just more likely to get it than others.
What are the symptoms?
Most dog cancers have similar early symptoms so its important to keep an eye on any changes in them. These symptoms include, but aren’t limited to:
- Weight loss
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent urination/pain when urinating
- Changes in eating
The best way to try and limit your dogs content it to avoid contact. Unfortunately, not a lot can be done other than to limit contact. This can be by changing parks to somewhere you know doesn’t use the fertiliser, or using more natural methods to fertiliser your soil, and avoiding the use of pesticides.
Something to keep in mind is that animals are normally more sensitive to environmental changes than humans are, so it is possible that these risks apply to humans. However, this is currently under investigation both legally and scientifically to see if these claims are true.